Ever since we are children, we all have dreams that carry us to adulthood. Growing up, I had a desire to escape hunger and experience the world; however, communism didn’t make it any easier for me.
From controlling us with rationed food and water, to selective television programs promoting the dictator, we were brainwashed to believe that our lives were as good as it got.
I needed to channel that burning desire and energy into something that would eventually get me out of the country and into following my dream. I joined wrestling when I was six years old and it ended up being the best decision of my life. Wrestling was a way for me to fight against the system and stand out somehow without getting in trouble with the Communist party.
During my wrestling career, I never lost sight of what my childhood dream was…to escape and be free. When I was 18 years old, I won the Junior World Wrestling Championship and was awarded the Best Junior Athlete of Romania in 1994. That opened up the door to the Olympic team and eventually an opportunity to travel to the United States where I moved in 1999.
I was 23 years old when I landed in Los Angeles armed with a backpack and few words of English. Within a few months in the land of opportunity, I landed my first job. I came from winning the world championships to getting a job as a dishwasher in Hollywood. Instead of sulking and complaining about my situation and considering it as a demotion for me, I was thrilled for the opportunity to make a living.
Through the years, I was exposed to a lot of challenges and roadblocks. Equipped with an extraordinary work ethic and a burning desire to not let myself down, I tackled all these obstacles one by one. During all those difficult times, I never felt like a victim and always looked for a solution.
Opportunities are arriving every day, from small ones to big ones, all we have to do is acknowledge and take advantage of them.
Currently I am the owner of a successful fitness facility located in Sherman Oaks, Ca. According to many people I’m living the American Dream. According to me, I am living my dream. I have the opportunity to do what I love. I’m blessed to pursue my passion and live my dream everyday. That’s what I call success.
Here are the top 5 reasons for my success:
1) Never Give Up – While pursuing my dreams, I came across a lot of difficulties, but I never gave up. Giving up and returning to my birth country of Romania was not an option for me. I did not have a plan B. I was moving forward. I knew what I wanted and I didn’t allow anyone or anything to stop me.
2) Humility – Moving to a different continent without speaking the language and coming from a World Champion/Olympic hopeful background to a dishwasher wasn’t something you came across every day. It was hard but being humble and keeping my ego in check helped me handle it properly and eventually accomplish more.
3) Self-Confidence – Being confident in myself and my abilities helped me to make decisions and also take action and move to the United States by myself when I was only 23 years old. Confidence in myself helped me pursue my dreams and achieve my goals.
4) Gratitude – Being grateful for every little progress or small accomplishment helped me to appreciate my success and stay on track. When it comes to progress and achieving goals, it’s not about how much you have done, but rather it is about being grateful for every step forward that you make. Expressing gratitude toward your accomplishments will only help you to achieve more.
5) Appreciation – During my journey I came across a multitude of people diverse in various backgrounds. I always showed appreciation for the things they’ve done for me. When pursuing our dreams, we will meet a multitude of people who more or less have something to do with our success. Make sure you appreciate them for who they are and what they’ve done for you.
This guest post is courtesy of Leo Frincu is the owner of RESULTS Personal Fitness Studio in Sherman Oaks, CA. He’s also a World Champion wrestler and a wellness, career and personal life coach. Leo was Romanian Athlete of the Year in 1994, and in 2003 he was a trainer and coach for the U.S. olympic wrestling team. You can also follow Leo on Twitter at @LeoFrincu, and on Facebook.